Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Born again again


"Christians get very angry toward other Christians who sin differently than they do" 
Philip Yancey

We have been preaching through Galatians and what a rich stream full of grace and truth we are swimming in- it's quite remarkable. Grace is literally being unleashed afresh on our hearts every time we meet. People have been saying to me that they feel like they are "being born again again" every week. 

In case I didn't mention it before, these sermons changed the course of my life :) You can sample a couple: 'How to change" and "Justified sinners".

I spotted this quote and it wonderfully captures what it means that we are justified by faith. 'God is love' and you're not and once you get that and see the Cross this saves you from all the virtuous trying at love, righteousness, religious striving, my church is better than yours effort, behaviour management (the core of the self-help business), comparison and self-justification by your own willpower and frees you instead to walk in the Spirit. We love out of his love for us rather than to earn or deserve it which we will never ever be able to do. That's grace my friends and it's terrifically good news.

Read this twice and let it sink deeply into your soul:

"To get at the nature of that faith, it is helpful to ponder why faith alone justifies. Why not love, or some other virtuous disposition? Here’s the way J. Gresham Machen answers this question in his 1925 book What Is Faith? 'The true reason why faith is given such an exclusive place by the New Testament, so far as the attainment of salvation is concerned, over against love and over against everything else in man . . . is that faith means receiving something, not doing something or even being something. To say, therefore, that our faith saves us means that we do not save ourselves even in slightest measure, but that God saves us.'

In other words, we are justified by faith alone, and not by love, because God intends to make it crystal clear that he does the decisive saving outside of us, and that the person and work of Christ are the sole ground of our acceptance with God." --John Piper, Think! The Life of the Mind and the Love of God

(via Take your Vitamin Z)

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